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Hedgesville High student earns prestigious WVU Foundation scholarship


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Academic success appears to be in Steven Robison's genetic makeup.

Hedgesville High School's graduating student body president recalls last receiving a "B" on his report card in third grade at Potomack Intermediate School.

His second cousin, state Sen. John Unger, was a Rhodes Scholar at West Virginia University in 1993.

Now, a generation later, Robison, 17, is on his way to Morgantown, W.Va., as one of WVU's five Foundation Scholars.

Gov. Joe Manchin formally introduced Robison and the other scholars in a ceremony on May 6 at the State Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The prestigious honor is worth more than $65,000 in tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc.

"I was really shocked and amazed because it was something that takes a load off of me," said Robison of the news he received in April.


"I don't have to worry about finances at all with college. I mean I can graduate debt-free ... I can devote time to my studies. I was really shocked and pleased and thankful."

With aspirations of becoming an international diplomat, Robison acknowledged he has tried to be a peacemaker while leading the student body in his last year at the Berkeley County school.

"I've tried," Robison said smiling. "I've tried to do the best that I can in just everything at Hedgesville. I've tried to work for the betterment of the school and I hope that I've accomplished that."

Expected to graduate first in his class with the academic ranking of summa cum laude, Robison said he came into his own toward the end of middle school.

"I realized that I could compete in the top of my class and that I could help other people in school, and I really just made it a priority to do the best that I possibly could and to be the top (of my class) and push my limits," Robison said.

Among numerous academic achievements, Robison helped found the school's model United Nations program and now aspires to make a difference in the real world.

"I think that ... diplomacy is the only real way that we can make our world a safer place, that we can make the world a better place to live in and that's through international cooperation."

Robison said he doesn't necessarily want to hold a prominent diplomatic position, such as U.N. secretary-general.

"The position doesn't matter to me," Robison said. "I want to be able to make change. I want to be able to work for the betterment of society, I really do. But no matter what position, I just want to feel that I've accomplished something."

Hedgesville High School Principal Don Dellinger said Thursday that Robison's accomplishments shouldn't be surprising.

"He's a leader, but he leads by example," Dellinger said. "He goes out and gets things done and others follow in his footsteps. Whatever Steve decides to venture into, I think he's going to be highly successful."

Robison is the second Hedgesville High School student to be named a Foundation Scholar at WVU since the program was established in 1987, according to WVU.

Daria Darnell received the honor in 1989, Dellinger said. Darnell's post-WVU career has included work as a foreign service officer for the State Department in Washington D.C., according to a Web site devoted to alumni of WVU's Honors College.

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